For Immediate Release: November 6, 2015

Tim Rusch, 917-399-0236,
Andrea Alford, 703-477-1075,


The following is a statement from Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United:

“We commend the USA Today Editorial Board’s decision to weigh in with its recent editorial calling for an increase to the federal tipped minimum wage from $2.13 an hour, and for criticizing the restaurant lobby that ‘jealously guards this government-sanctioned perk.’”

“While the piece is a commendable step in the right direction, the publication stopped short of demanding one fair wage for all workers; opting instead to urge an increase that is at least 50 percent of the minimum wage for non tipped workers. We encourage the Editorial Board to understand that as long as restaurant workers depend on tips for any portion of their income, they will continue to experience unreliable income, sexual harassment, and race and gender inequality at the workplace.”

“In an industry that employs more than 3.3 million tipped workers nationally — with more than 65 percent of that number being women — any proposal short of 100 percent parity grossly perpetuates gender-based pay discrimination.”

“This editorial is yet another sign that the movement for One Fair Wage is growing more powerful by the day. ROC United’s restaurant worker, employer, and consumer members will continue to stand at the forefront of a national movement for One Fair Wage for all workers.”


Co-founded by leading workers’ rights advocate Saru Jayaraman (“One of the top 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry” – Nation’s Restaurant News). ROC United has grown close to 18,000 worker-members across over 30 cities in the US, winning 15 worker-led campaigns, totaling $8 million in stolen tips and wages.